“Why You Should Always Put a Towel Under Hotel Door” is the text in an online advertisement that’s been making the rounds since at least January 2021.
Silly ads are a dime a dozen, and they’re everywhere. However, finding the answer to the tease in these kinds of ads is a journey only braved by those willing to hear their laptop fans go wild.
The slideshow articles that result from clicking these sorts of ads often pack so much content into the code of the websites that even the best computers need to work overtime to keep everything running.
We decided to take a closer look at the ad in question, which appeared like this:
The ad’s usage of the word “always” appeared to imply there was an ominous safety reason why a hotel guest might want to place a towel under the door.
Upon clicking the ad, readers were met with a 75-page slideshow article. One headline read: “Upgrade Your Next Stay at a Hotel With These Clever Hacks.” Another said: “Transform Your Trips With These Top Genius Hotel Hacks.”
We finally reached the specific page about the towel and hotel door, and here’s what it had to say:
Falling asleep instantly once one’s head hits the pillow sounds like a dream. This can be especially difficult when you’re not sleeping in the comfort of your own home.
Many distractions can keep hotel guests awake such as pesky elevator dinging, people chatting in the hallway, or that annoying light that sneaks under the door. An easy hack is to roll up a towel and wedge it under the door crack.
The story simply advised hotel guests to plug up the bottom of the door with a towel to keep out noise and light.
Some readers might be thinking of another reason a towel can be placed under a hotel door. Twitter users posted plenty in the past about using a wet towel when smoking in hotels:
shoutout to my hotel…was smokin in there and instead if being assholes they brought me a towel for under the door and some air freshener
— A$AP LOU BANGA (@ASVP_Lou) October 31, 2015
Hotel bathroom with the towel under the door pic.twitter.com/ZuoSFjCLIt
— ✨ (@Chaantellie) April 16, 2018
— Metalcore Gatsby (@FRONZ1LLA) February 8, 2014
We also found a discussion on Reddit about putting a towel under the door. The subreddit where the post was submitted was for people who work in the hotel industry.
In the end, we suppose it’s nice that the lengthy slideshow story actually mentioned the towel seen in the ad. Some of these kinds of articles never end up addressing what was seen in the ads that led readers to the stories in the first place. That, of course, is clickbait.
Snopes debunks a wide range of content, and online advertisements are no exception. Misleading ads often lead to obscure websites that host lengthy slideshow articles with lots of pages. It’s called advertising “arbitrage.” The advertiser’s goal is to make more money on ads displayed on the slideshow’s pages than it cost to show the initial ad that lured them to it. Feel free to submit ads to us, and be sure to include a screenshot of the ad and the link to where the ad leads.